Sunday, July 16, 2006

What are (Old) Friends for?

What are (old) friends for?

Last Monday, I received a call from a friend from college telling me he was in town. He was what someone would refer to as 'my cat'. That's what we were. Two cool cats. His dad has not being doing well, so he came to see him. With all the conmotion going on at work last week, I remembered I told him I would call back to do something; on Thursday. I sent him a text; "If U dont hear from me 2morow after 2p call me".

Friday, I picked him up and we went for Mexican. I was looking forward to have what I thought was "mixed fajitas" the last time I was there. Whats the big deal about mixed fajitas? Besides chicken and steak, these also had "Chorizo" (spanish sausage). One of the best dishes I have ever had. I realized that the last time I was there my date ordered. And I was able to tell on Friday she had ordered a special dish made for two. So it was regular combo fajitas for me.

A good thing about having an old friend is knowing some of the things they live and die for. "Care for something to drink" - the waiter asked. "Sure, I'll have your best kind of frozen margarita, and for him Diet sprite; I think." "Yes, diet sprite", he replied. It has been over 22 years now. Even though, I could not remember the brand of his old car in college who he used to call "Darling Nikki". That I remembered, but I was informed that he had a 67 Volvo, despite my memory of an old BMW.

We talked about many things you don't talk about with other friends. My friend is of haitian descent. Growing up in Chicago his favorite 'type' of girls were spanish. Unlike me at the time. His predilection has not changed. A song by Marc Anthony was playing and he asked me if I liked him. I told him I like his music, but I totally disliked him and his wife (Jennifer Lopez). So he told me he disliked her too. I was like, 'wait a second, you were the one that pointed her out to me when she was doing the Selena movie'. He did not remember. So we get into conversations like who do you like? Selma Hayak or Penelope Cruz? He likes Selma. Penelope Cruz or Paz Vega ("Spanglish")? He likes Paz Vega.

He did not remember that one time I asked him to do something very mean for me, to the girl that was double timing me at the time. He advised, 'thats like playing God'. But he did it anyways, and up to this date, while I regret the pain I caused, I think good came out of it. However, he did remember how I went days without talking to him when he 'hooked up' with a girl I liked in college. We lived in the same dorm, and I had asked him to take her out since I was going to be busy. The next morning, using my friendly skills, I convinced the desk receptionist to check for me the departure time of the girl, and I was told she was still checked in. I was so upset. But, I was out hooking up with someone else, and throughout the years that was a turning point for me to later convince myself that whatever is good for the goose...

Throughout the years, we sort of have kept in touch. We shared a love for the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan, so I could always count on a call from him during championship time. This year, when the Miami Heat won the championship, I sent him a text lauding 'our boy from Marquette' and MVP Dwyane Wade. Whenever our favorite musician, Prince goes on tour, we touch base to see if we can get together and see him. Last year, he happened to be in town when this happened, and by coincidence called me on that day. He was quick to jump on a bus and come and meet me, and buy a last minute ticket to the concert.

So what are old friends for? They are a landmark to let us know where we have been, where we are, how much or little we have changed. He told me I looked good, and coming from him, a freelance photographer, and unlike everyone else, I take it face value. And he made me realized that at this point of my life I might be a little jaded, and he urged me to keep dreaming. But then again, my all time favorite song is the "Logical Song" by Supertramp, which starts with the words, "when I was young It seemed that life was so wonderful, a miracle, oh it was beautiful and magical". And ends by asking "wont you please tell me who I am?".

That is what old friends are for.

12 Comments:

Blogger Green Eyes said...

I'm glad you had fun with your college friend. You're right, old friends are great to have and allow you to be introspective on your own life.

Let me reiterate what your friend said, to tell you to keep dreaming. I think you, too, need to keep 'reaching for the stars.'

9:45 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

Strangely, I haven't kept in touch with anyone from college, even though I had some good friends. All my close buddies are from high school, and I'm going to catch up with them next week. Our conversations will be very much like the ones you had with your friend.

Good times.

11:34 AM  
Blogger erika said...

Sounds like you had a great time. Heck most of my friends I have known since high school. They can really tell some stories about me. Its funny some of them I don't talk to much but we pick up just like it was yesterday. It is a blessing to have them in my life.

11:53 AM  
Blogger TMelendez said...

63 lurkers and 3 comments.. hum..

Thanks GE!

Fred, I have read about your friends... so dont give us any pity stories here about "even though I have some good friends".

E.. lord... can you imagine.. we can get them togetehr and make a blog for them just to tell stories about u!!

T

9:50 PM  
Blogger Awareness said...

OK.....you caught me. I lurked!

It's a wonderful feeling reconnecting with a good friend. I had the opportunity in the spring to do the same with a bunch of kindreds I hadn't seen or communicated with in over 20 years. These were people whom I had grown up with.......we became adults together and then went our separate ways.

I live far away from my hometown and have for a while now. Consequently, for various reasons..... too busy with career and young family I guess.... we all went our separate ways.

The experience I had in the spring truly helped ground me again. I had lost that part of me, if you know what I mean.

Friends, especially old dear ones are our touchstones. They are entrenched in our personal foundation and should never be forgotten or neglected. I've learned my lesson.

OK.......hows that? :)

I liked reading your thoughts. Glad you enjoyed yourself.

5:57 AM  
Blogger erika said...

T LOL I would have to move out of the country!

9:30 AM  
Blogger TMelendez said...

Awareness... THANK YOU for sharing that.. yes.. thats the will I feel this week.. sort of 'grounded back down'.

E... at least you will be comfortable in the artic!!!!! (unless it melts.. or you melt it)!
T

2:23 PM  
Blogger erika said...

Would you send me beer?

2:49 PM  
Blogger TMelendez said...

hum..
I can see you laying on your back.. mouth open..with beer slowly dripping down a big iceberg...

..Who needs a beach and those Corona commercials?

7:57 PM  
Blogger erika said...

LOL now that would be lazy of me but I like it!

10:53 PM  
Blogger Leigh said...

Old friends are great. It is great you two still can make time here and there for eachother.

Hey did someone say beer??? I really could use a cold beer about right now.

6:13 PM  
Blogger TMelendez said...

Leigh..
I havent had a Labbats Blue in a long time.. send some please..!
T

6:31 PM  

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